Monet Jackson cried into the shoulder of coach Jennifer Reeder Friday night after the Blue Springs senior finished 11th in the discus.

Monet Jackson cried into the shoulder of coach Jennifer Reeder Friday night after the Blue Springs senior finished 11th in the discus.

Saturday afternoon at the Missouri State Track and Field Championships at Lincoln University, they were crying tears of joy.

Jackson unleashed a personal-best throw of 43 feet, 7.25 inches to win the Class 4 shot put competition in her final throw as a Wildcat.

“Friday was just terrible. Today was just amazing,” Jackson said after the first-place medal was draped around her neck. “I just didn’t feel it in the discus. I don’t know what happened.

“But I wasn’t going to let that affect the way I threw the shot (Saturday). I know that’s easier said than done, but I went into (Saturday’s) competition totally focused and ready to compete.”

Reeder said Jackson was as focused as any performer she’s ever coached at Blue Springs as she prepared for her final state competition.

“None of us know what happened on Friday. She just didn’t throw that well,” Reeder said, “and she was just devastated. It’s so hard for a kid to come back from disappointment like that.

“But Monet did. And to win it on her last throw is even more unbelievable.”

Jackson said her mental preparation for Saturday’s shot put was as important as a season’s worth of physical training.

“I just told myself to go for it,” Jackson said. “The freshman (Fort Osage’s Asia Cole) – the girl who was second in the shot and discus at sectionals – was going for it, and I knew I had to go for it, too.

“I knew my last throw was good. I was just hoping it was good enough to get the title.”

Cole’s best effort of 42-5.25 was good for second place. Her teammate, senior Elaine McAlister, won her first state medal by throwing 39-9.25, which was good for eighth place.

“I took seventh in the discus (on Friday) and second in the shot today, so I’m very happy,” Cole said. “And it was so special to stand on the podium with Elaine. She’s my biggest fan, and to share that moment with her was something I will never forget.”

McAlister said she was not happy with her throw but was pleased to finally get that elusive medal.

“I’m graduating, but I’m going to come back to watch Asia,” McAlister said, “because she is going to be special for a long, long time.”